Stafford asks opinions on council’s climate change plans

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RESIDENTS, businesses and organisations across Stafford Borough in the West Midlands are to be asked their views on a plan to help reduce the impact of climate change.

The draft Climate Change Strategy will be discussed by members of the Borough Council’s Cabinet at a meeting on Thursday 16 January.

It follows the declaration of a climate change emergency passed by the council last year – with a commitment that the authority would be carbon neutral by 2040.

Now the Cabinet will be asked to give the go-ahead for the strategy to go out for public consultation.

Stafford Borough Council was recognised as one of the leaders in the region by a national Friends of the Earth survey on how climate friendly local authorities are.

The strategy includes a number of successful initiatives that have already been introduced by the authority to reduce carbon emissions and sets out plans for the future, including:

•    How the council will further reduce emissions from its own activities
•    Work with partners to achieve carbon neutrality
•    How it will monitor and review progress

Part of the strategy will see an up to date carbon audit of the council undertaken to identify which areas and activities of the authority need to be targeted as the first steps to tackle the problem.

Councillor Jonathan Price, Cabinet Member for Environment, commented on the new survey: “The authority, and my fellow councillors, have a key role to play in achieving a sustainable climate – but we can not do it on our own.

“This is everybody’s responsibility – and we need to work with, and have the support of, our whole community.

“This strategy sets out how we aim to achieve carbon neutrality and work with others to become a more sustainable borough.

“So, I would encourage our residents, businesses, and all the community groups and local organisations to tell us what they think of our plans.”

Over recent years the council has introduced new cremators that recycle heat at the Tixall Road crematorium in Stafford, installed solar panels on the roof of its Civic Centre and changed boilers in the building to reduce energy consumption.

The consultation is expected to get underway towards the end of this month and will be made available on the website and through social media.